If those old deed books in Monmouth County’s Hall of Records could talk…


Official records indicate this house was built in 1901, but the date is dubious. Transactions involving the property (whether or not it had a house on it isn’t clear) go back to the days Red Bank was a village within Shrewsbury. And there’s documentary evidence plus some oral history to suggest the house may be as many as 150 years old.

The first owner to show up in the deeds was one of Red Bank’s most prominent citizens, Anthony Reckless, whose mansion is now the home of the Woman’s Club of Red Bank. By today’s standards, his buyer, Joe Parker, would seem to have gotten a deal. But poor Joe either went bust or died broke, because the Sheriff got hold of it and resold it.

For most of the 20th century, the house—at the corner of Irving Place—was home to Audrey Proddow, who, we’re told, was born in it and still living there when she was 89 years old.

Judy Petitti, daughter of a Boston architect, grew up in a 150-year-old house and missed the feel of it. She also longed to be able to walk into a town as vibrant as Red Bank’s. So after 20 years in Rumson, with their kids grown up (one, Rob, plays football for the Dallas Cowboys), Judy and her husband Robert bought this house, paying a premium because it’s zoned for offices. Then they set about replacing all its mechanical systems and sprucing up what had become a drab and overgrown exterior, but retaining the best historical aspects—the original floors, the plaster walls, the windows and more.

“It has great bones,” says Judy, who pronounces this house her favorite of all those she’s ever lived in—or even pondered owning in this area. “It’s been five years, and I haven’t seen one house in town that I wish we’d bought instead,” she says.